May 2020
In this month's newsletter:
  • A word from the GM
  • A word from your Board
  • 2020 Plant Sale: Food For All Fundraiser
  • Phone-In Ordering Now Available!
  • Common Ground's Response to COVID-19
  • Exciting New Products
  • Round Up For Good Update
  • Classes Canceled Announcement
Common Ground's Continued Effort in
COVID-19 Prevention
Gary Taylor, General Manager
" Common Ground, like most other stores, has done a lot to make sure that we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of our staff and our customers. Today I wish to highlight one of our initiatives: curbside pickup....The upside to this service, besides being a great convenience to our more at-risk customers, is that it reduces in-store traffic which, in turn, reduces the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus for those that prefer to shop for themselves. Thank you all who have used this service and have shown such great support for the program."

A Time for Community Solidarity - Observing the local response
to COVID-19
JP Goguen, Board Director
"Expanding outward from CGFC and thinking about the farms, restaurants, non-profits, businesses, and working people who all participate in the local economy, I’ve observed a huge mobilization underway to support our neighbors and maintain a sense of community. Every day
I hear about amazing work being done to help alleviate the strain...we’re finding ways to activate our networks in support of each other."

The Board of Directors typically meets the second Monday of the month from 6:15 to 8:15 pm in the Flatlander Classroom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors is exploring options for online meetings. Stay tuned for more information!
It's finally the time of year to get those gardens going! The Co-op is here to help. Pick up locally grown seedlings at our annual Plant Sale. All proceeds go toward our Food For All program.

The Plant Sale will look a little different this year. In order to safely and responsibly raise funds for our food access program in the midst of COVID-19, we are not hosting a single day event as we have in past years. Instead, plants will be available all week long in the Co-op vestibule. Plants will also be available on phone ordering days for curbside pick-up (read more on phone orders here ). To prevent crowds, we are encouraging shoppers to pick up seedlings during their regular shopping schedule. Please be mindful of social distancing recommendations while shopping for seedlings.

A huge thank you to our local farmers and owners who grew seedlings to donate for the Plant Sale!

Phone Ordering Now Available Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays! (217) 352-3347

In response to the COVID-19 threat and the Shelter-In-Place order, Common Ground is offering call-in orders with curbside pick-up! The Co-op is thrilled to be offering this service to the community. Here's how it works:
  • Orders can be called in on Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Sundays between 8am - 12pm. Phone operators answer the call in the order they are received, so we ask for your patience during the call-in times! 
  • We can only fill 80 orders per day. In order to serve as many people as possible, we encourage our customers to place an order only one day each week.
  • Curbside pick-up is available on the same day as the order between 1pm - 5pm. 
  • Orders must be picked up on the same day they are placed (all items will be returned to the shelves if not picked up on the same day the order was placed).
  • Payment will be completed at the time of pick-up. Card, check, cash, and EBT are accepted. Cash tips are welcome but entirely optional.
  • All orders are subject to a $3 service fee.
  • Items must be selected from the Order Menu.
  • Items are only available while supplies last. Shoppers will be alerted of any out-of-stocks at the time of pick-up. Substitutions are not available.
  • We have experienced a very high volume of calls on phone order days. All calls will be taken in the order they are received. While we fill orders as quickly as we can, please be prepared for a 5-10 minute hold time.

As we begin our new call-in ordering, Common Ground has compiled a limited menu of kitchen & household staples and popular items that shoppers can order from. The Co-op's entire inventory is not available for call-in ordering, but shoppers do have the option to choose up to five items not listed on the menu. To ensure accuracy, shoppers must indicate 1) Brand, 2) Product, 3) Size. 
Call the store at (217) 352-3347!
Healthy Co-ops Help Communities Stay Healthy
The current pandemic of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) shows us once again that grocery stores are a vital resource to the communities they serve. You have come to us in recent days to prepare alongside others in the community. We wish that everyone here, shoppers and staff alike approach the way we operate with the health of ourselves and each other in mind. Below are ways that we here at Common Ground are working to do this, followed by things you can do to help us and each other:
What Common Ground is doing:
As of March 14th, Common Ground has implemented the following changes:
  • We increased the frequency to hourly of sanitizing high-touch surfaces like door handles, baskets, carts, register belts, serving utensils, bathrooms, and co-op cafe tables. 
  • We still offer sanitizing wipes for customers to use when using a cart or basket. We anticipate that our supply will see disruption and are doing our best to source alternatives including sanitizer stations at entrances. Those alternatives will be implemented immediately upon arrival.
  • We have asked any staff exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness or fever to stay home and notify their physician. We are working with employees on a case-by-case basis to ensure they have the support they need. 
  • We have stopped accepting personal cups at our Cafe and have ceased self-serve sampling. We are asking all customers to use store-supplied containers or bags for bulk buying. Common Ground will not be providing donated glass jars for the forseeable future. Donations for glass containers are no longer being accepted.
  • We have removed testers in our Wellness department, with the exception of essential oil testers.
  • We have cancelled all classes, events, and training until 4/18/2020, and will reassess as time goes on to extend if necessary. This includes the annual Financial Meeting of Owners. More information about the FinMOO to come.
  • It’s been a challenge to balance our commitment to sustainability, but we believe the health of our community currently demands the use of single use items like paper towels in our restrooms, so we will soon re-install dispensers for the time being.
  • We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure we have the essentials that you are seeking, like pantry staples, cleaning supplies, and health and body care items.
  • We anticipate that guidance from federal, state and local agencies may change rapidly over the coming days and weeks. We will continue to monitor closely and be nimble in adjusting our operations to prioritize the health and safety of you and our staff. 

As of March 17th, the following changes are also implemented:
  • Self-serve coffee will only be available behind the Cafe counter
  • Oatmeal will only be available behind the Cafe counter.
  • The salad bar will be closed. Please check our Grab n' Go cooler for packaged salads.
  • One hot soup will be available daily and served behind the Cafe counter. Please check our Grab n' Go cooler for more packaged soups.
  • The Flatlander Classroom will be closed to the public for the time being.

As of March 20th, the following changes are implemented:
  • The Cafe is closed indefinitely. Fresh pizzas, made-to-order sandwiches, coffee & tea are no longer available. Frozen pizzas available while supplies last.
  • The Kitchen & Bakery are closed indefinitely. Grab n' Go selections available while supplies last.
  • Select bulk products are not available in the self-serve containers. To prevent the spread of germs, popular selections will be pre-packaged for safe shopping. Special orders are still available on all bulk items--just ask a staff member for help!

As of March 23rd, the following changes are implemented :
  • Designated senior shopping hours are 7:30am - 9:00am. We respectfully ask that shoppers honor this designated period for one of our most vulnerable populations. Seniors are not limited to these hours and may shop during all store hours.
  • Regular store hours are 9:00am - 7:00pm. 

As of March 26th, Common Ground added the following changes:
  • Phone ordering with curbside pickup is available on Thursdays and Sundays for those who do not wish to shop in person. The Co-op remains open on phone ordering days.

As of April 7th, the following changes are implemented:
  • Phone ordering with curbside pickup is also available on Tuesdays, in addition to Thursdays and Sundays.
  • Common Ground can only place 80 orders per day and encourages customers to only place one phone order per week.

As of April 21st, the following changes are implemented:
  • All staff are required to wear masks on the sales floor.

As of April 24th, the following changes are implemented:
  • Directional arrow stickers have been placed on the floor to guide the flow of traffic, preventing physical closeness of shoppers. 
  • Physical distancing stickers have been placed on the floor at the cash registers to maintain the recommended 6' distance.

On Monday, April 27th, Common Ground will be closed to allow an extra paid day off for staff to rest and recuperate.

As of May 1st, the following changes are implemented:
  • All shoppers are required to wear a face mask, per the Governor's mandate.

What you can do to help:
  • Practice proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Take care to cough/sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and refrain from touching your face. Consider maintaining a social distance of 6ft or more.
  • Stay home if you can. If you’re sick, please consider not shopping out of consideration for folks at higher risk, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. We recognize that food access is essential and ask that if you must shop while sick, you use a covering for your nose/mouth and practice great hygiene. 
  • Place a special order. If you’re purchasing large quantities of single items in preparation for a quarantine, we recommend placing a special order to help us keep the shelves stocked for others. You can place an order for any item we carry directly with a staff member or by calling the store at (217) 352-3347. Most products will arrive within 2-3 days, though disruptions in the supply chain may result in out-of-stocks.
  • Stay informed: 
National CDC website:
Illinois Department of Public Health:
Champaign County Public Health:
  • Take care of each other. The amazing part of our co-op is the building of community. Let’s remember to continue to support one another and find ways to help us deal with uncertainty and fear. Perhaps that might look like getting your neighbors phone numbers and checking in via phone/text. Or maybe it’s doing something out in public for a loved one who might be at higher risk for complications if exposed to illness. It could be as small of a gesture as a smile and wave at your fellow humans as you pass each other or expressing gratitude when you feel it. We’re all in this together and we will get through it together.

LOCAL Janie's Mill Flours

Flour is hard to come by these days. Luckily, we now carry local, organic Janie's Mill flours! These flours are freshly ground each time we place an order, so you're guaranteed the freshest flour out there! Find them in Aisle 2 with all our baking essentials.

$5.99 per bag

Oatly Oat Milk Ice Cream

Your favorite oat milk brand now makes ice cream, and your favorite co-op is now stocking it! Find four of their tasty flavors in our frozen section: vanilla, mint chip, chocolate, and chocolate chip.

$5.79 per pint

Sambazon Amazon Superberry Acai Bowl

You've heard of the acai superfood, right? You can find frozen acai puree in our frozen section for a nutritious breakfast or quick mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack.

$4.29 per bowl

Califia Nitro Oat Milk Lattes

Oat milk is making another appearance in our new items! Introducing the nitro oat milk latte. The Co-op carries three varieties: unsweetened black & white, xx espresso, and mocha. Find them in our Grab n' Go drink cooler near the cash registers.

$2.79 per can
Essential Baking Company

Introducing Essential Baking Company's gluten-free breads! Common Ground now carries two styles of this fresh bread--super seeded multigrain and deli classic white. If those GF breads in our freezer section aren't your jam, try these! Found in Aisle 1.

$7.29 per loaf

JarWare Juicer

Now you can juice on the go! This juicing attachment fits on wide mouth jars. Find it above our fruit case in the produce section.

$4.79 per juicer
(jar not included)

Spring GoodLight Candles

Seasonal candle scents are in! You can now find apricot, honeysuckle, and juniper scented GoodLight candles in our Wellness section.

$3.99 per candle

Bragg's ACV Miracle Cleanse

From the most trusted name in apple cider vinegar, Bragg's Miracle Cleanse is now on mega-sale at Common Ground! Originally $20.89, we have reduced the price by almost half! This concentrate is made of Bragg's organic apple cider, honey, lemon juice concentrate, and cayenne pepper. Just add water!

$10.89 per bottle

April Round Up: Rape, Advocacy, Counseling, Education Services
An update on the April Round Up

In April, we raised over 2,200 for R.A.C.E.S! R.A.C.E.S. is the community-based rape crisis center serving East-Central Illinois. This organization provides free, confidential services to anyone who has been affected by sexual assault, abuse, or harassment. This organization provides compassionate comprehensive support to those affected by sexual trauma. We care for our communities through prevention education programs that promote consent.
May Round Up: Common Ground's Food For All Program
Introducing the May Round Up For Good Recipient
In May, we'll be Rounding Up for our very own Food For All program. Food For All is our food access program here at Common Ground. Through the funds we raise at the Plant Sale and May Round Up For Good, we are able to give free ownership to those who can't afford the $60 equity payment. Additionally, those Food For All recipients also receive a 10% discount on Co+op Basics products. Co+op Basics are kitchen staples that are intentionally kept at a low price for everyone! Finally, Food For All recipients also have the option to attend our cooking classes free of charge. 

Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, all classes and events have been canceled until further notice. Keep an eye out for updates!
Enjoy $2 off your next purchase of $15 or more
Just bring in this slip or show it on your device. Valid through the end of April. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.